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Is there any day of the week when airfares are statistically the cheapest to buy?

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I was sure we had this question already, but can't find it. Great q! –  Mark Mayo Dec 21 '12 at 21:50
    
I'm sure too. I remember answering it, even. –  MastaBaba Dec 22 '12 at 21:13
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And here it is: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/8803/… –  MastaBaba Dec 22 '12 at 21:15
    
Argh, I'd just come back to post it, and MastaBaba beat me: Are flights actually cheaper to book during the week? –  Mark Mayo Dec 23 '12 at 1:03
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1 Answer 1

up vote 15 down vote accepted

A number of people will tell you different things, but I'll say Tuesday or Wednesday.

Now, there are two parts to this question. Firstly, what day is the cheapest to fly, and then what day is the cheapest to buy.

To fly, is generally during the week days, not Monday or Friday as people are coming back / going on trips - leisure or business. Morning/evening flights are more expensive, etc etc.

Now, the key part you're asking is when do you buy.

Firstly, NOT the weekends. It's been shown, and I've seen personally, that airline ticket prices will often rise on the weekend, then drop again on Monday. The theory being that more people shop for tickets on the weekend. Annoying, but there you go.

Now, the best day? It's going to be Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on a few factors.

Travelocity's Director of Flights, Dominique Philips, says that most airlines tend to release sales on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays

Tuesday

John Morrey, vice president of retail air at Expedia says in his opinion, booking on Tuesday evenings is ideal. He notes that airlines tend to release fare sales on Tuesday mornings, and if other carriers match, they usually do so by the evening. Fare sales generally end on Fridays, and Morrey says, "In addition, when airlines raise fares, they tend to do this on a weekend, so Saturdays and Sundays [are] less attractive."

The CEO of Farecompare.com, Rick Seaney, states:

The best day to shop for airfare is Tuesday. And let me get even more specific: shop on Tuesday at about 3 p.m.

He's so emphatic about this, that he has an entire article devoted to it.

Wednesday

PeterGreenberg.com says:

By late Monday, depending on how that new fare is doing in the marketplace, Airline C might jump into the battle and offer an even lower fare, so look for all the other airlines to rush to match that one – usually by Tuesday – and the war is on. Prices might go even lower on Wednesday. And that’s when you strike.

Wait any longer than Wednesday, and you may be in trouble. The wars usually end by Thursday morning. Why? Friday is just around the corner! And the cycle starts all over again.

EHow.com claims that:

Log on to the airline's website shortly after 12am (in the airline's time zone) on Wednesday night. This is the best day and time of the week to book a flight because this is when most airlines purge their computerized systems of any airline reservations that were not booked.

Conclusion

So it depends a little on what you're searching for. For upcoming weekend flights, you should probably consider booking on Wednesdays. For far-ahead (not this weekend) flights, the release times described on Tuesdays seems to be the way to go :)

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This conventional wisdom is being challenged‌​... –  Flimzy Nov 15 '13 at 18:29
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